College Media, Sportswriting: Leads

Sports leads should offer context, introduce storylines

Like a talented leadoff hitter, leads set the table for a game story or preview. They put the story in play in a reader’s mind, meaning, to continue the metaphor, that the writer might eventually score by compelling people to read on. Too many leads are the equivalent of a strikeout while looking; no big swings and misses. The bat never leaves many writers’ shoulders.

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Sportswriting: Leads

Pitfalls to avoid when writing sports leads

I originally published this on Indiana University’s National Sports Journalism Center website in October 2011.

Sportswriters don’t just recount statistics or game results. They tell stories. That means they need to introduce themes and conflicts as early as possible in the lead elements to game stories.

That’s a challenge no matter one’s deadline. Continue reading